Earth USA 2013

Earth USA 2013 is the Seventh International Conference on Architecture and Construction with Earthen Materials initiated by Earth USA. The conference organizer is Adobe in Action.

The formal conference will take place on October 4 and 5, 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. October 6th will be dedicated to local earthbuilding tours and excursions. The conference is being held at the New Mexico Museum of Art in the St. Francis Auditorium (107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501). Earth USA 2013 indicates a wider field of interest than previous conferences and will include adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth block (CEB) and monolithic adobe (cob). Any material or method that uses clay as a binder is considered.

Earth USA 2013 is now accepting abstract submissions (due April 14, 2013) for conference presentations. For more information visit http://earthusa.org/

Glendale Childcare Center

Located in Glendale, California, the 23,000 square-foot childcare facility, designed by Marmol Radziner, accommodates 236 children between infant and Pre-K ages. The complex is the first LEED Gold Certified building in Glendale, and is the largest rammed earth building in Southern California. The sustainable strategies incorporated into the building, including photovoltaic panel canopies and structural rammed earth walls, are key visual and tactile elements in the design, emphasizing the facility as both a learning environment and an educational tool.

Hassan Fathy’s New Gourna

Hassan Fathy’s New Gourna from Oliver Wilkins on Vimeo.

The village of New Gourna was designed and built in the 1940s by the Egyptian Architect Hassan Fathy. He pioneered the use of sustainable materials and environmentally friendly design to build housing for low income families who were being relocated from their original village at Old Gourna.
60 years later, many of the now historic New Gourna buildings have fallen into disrepair and others have disappeared or been changed beyond recognition. A project is underway to safeguard the site, and World Monuments Fund (WMF) commissioned us to produce a film presenting the perspective of the residents…

For more information about WMF’s work at New Gourna, see wmf.org/project/new-gourna-village

House No. 6

The Drachman Design Build Coalition, a non-profit organization at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture + Landscape Architecture led by professor and Associate Dean, Mary Hardin, received grants from both the City of Tucson and Pima County in 2007 to fund the study, design and construction of affordable, sustainable homes for low-income families in south Tucson’s Barrio San Antonio. More at Archinect…

Radioactive Earth

These food storage jars were made of radioactive earth from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster area in Japan. They were designed by Royal College of Art graduate student Hilda Hellström who contacted the last person still living inside the evacuation zone, Naoto Matsumura, and collected soil from his rice fields that can’t be farmed due to contamination.


[ More at Dezeen ]

Rammed Earthenware

The Rammed Earthenware collection by the Japanese design collective, Bril, is made from a combination of soil in various colours, sand, lime and water. The mixture is poured into a mould and rammed with three wooden sticks, each with a different shaped tip, until it becomes hard.

Rammed Earthenware by Bril from Dezeen on Vimeo.

[ More at Dezeen ]

THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN / rammed earth at the BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2012

There is nothing new under the sun is an installation comprised of rammed earth and created for the 2012 Venice Biennial. The installation was done within the collateral event, “Traces of Century and Future Steps”, organised and curated by artist Rene Rietmeyer (head of the Global Art Affairs Foundation) and hosted at the Palazzo Bembo just next to the Rialto bridge. The architects Estudio Altiplano, from Bogota, Colombia, were given a space at the fourth floor of a 15th century palace to install the work—a performance piece that consisted of hoisting 3.5 tons of earth into the small chamber then compacting it into a solid rammed earth object. The work engaged many participants, simultaneously a demonstration in the process of fabricating allowing a discussion to emerge about topics of tradition, contemporaneity, territory and the built environment.

The installation formally suggests to the observer how architecture depends on matter in the form of territory, energy and resources. Earth was used to demonstrate how earth is a basic building material used all over the world and that traditional building techinques necessarily depend on oral tradition or transformation of knowledge to evolve and survive. Additionally, the use of earth demonstrated the plastic notion that conjures the act of subtracting compacted earth from the ground to mold it into new shapes without interfering in its material capacities. A continued discussion surrounding the project continues at http://www.rammedweb.com/